Austin Rivers calls Ben Simmons’ 76ers practice talk
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Ben Simmons tells his side of the 76ers practice Oct. 19, 2021, which saw him fired by coach Doc Rivers.
The incident – which saw the Aussie star banned for one match – comes after a turbulent period between the player and the club. The story continued until the NBA trade deadline, when Simmons was traded to the Nets.
“I tried to do the right thing, and I wasn’t there to play,” Simmons said on “The Old Man and the Three” podcast. “I just couldn’t do it … I actually talked to Doc before practice. I was like, ‘Doc, I’m not ready mentally. I’m not ready. Please understand that.’ And he’s like, ‘Okay, I’ll put you up anyway.’
Simmons said “it’s only been a minute,” Doc told him to come in, to get on the court and practice.
“I get penalized for not lifting weights but physically I’m one of the strongest guys on the team,” he said. “Obviously, they didn’t do it right, but neither did the team.”
Under the clip posted on the podcast’s Instagram account, listeners chimed in.
“It’s interesting…we (as a society) say we support mental health, but when someone mentions and comments about their mental health being compromised, people laugh at them,” one commenter wrote. “I’m glad he spoke up about it, taking responsibility on his part, and finally doing what’s best for him.”
That prompted Austin Rivers, the son of the Sixers coach and Denver Nuggets point guard, to jump into the fray.
“Brother, do you believe this fellow?” he answered. “If you all knew…”
Young Rivers, a former Knick, was not with the Sixers and was never friends with Simmons’.
Simmons said it was a build-up to how he and the team weren’t handling things properly. Finally, he was traded to the Brooklyn Nets as part of the trade that landed Philadelphia James Harden, who is still uncertain as a member of the network.
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